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First case of person-to-person transmission of Wuhan virus in the US confirmed

The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of...

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 10:30 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 1:15 PM

The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday.

'I want to emphasize that the risk of this novel coronavirus to the general public in Illinois remains low,' Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a written statement on Thursday. She added that local, state and federal health officials are working to identify people who have had close contact with the case in order to minimize further spread of the virus.

'We will continue to keep the public fully informed as additional information becomes available,' she said.

The husband, a Chicago resident in his 60s, is the second confirmed case of the virus in the state.

The woman, who is in her 60s, is the first confirmed travel-associated case in Illinois and was diagnosed after returning from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated. She is 'doing quite well' and remains hospitalized primarily for isolation, doctors told reporters during a telebriefing with reporters on Thursday.

The husband, who did not travel to China, was admitted more recently to the hospital and has some underlying medical conditions, but is stable.

'Given what we've seen in China versus other countries, CDC experts have expected to find some person-to-person spread in the United States,' CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during Thursday's telebriefing.

'Based on what we know now, our assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low.'

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the husband was in close contact with his spouse over a long period of time while she was symptomatic. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

'We know coronaviruses are most likely to spread through close personal contact, and we know this second patient had close contact with his wife after she began to develop symptoms, so it's not totally unexpected that he acquired the virus,' Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in the written statement on Thursday.

'This is exactly why public health has been monitoring him closely, and why we monitor any close contacts of confirmed cases,' she said. 'This does not change our guidance that the risk to the general public remains low at this time. People in the community do not need to change their behavior based on this news; for example, they don't need to cancel events, avoid mass gatherings, or wear gloves and masks in public.'

Public health officials are investigating locations the second patient visited over the past two weeks and any people he may have had close contact with, state officials said.

Public health and medical professionals are taking an aggressive approach in identifying and actively monitoring people who were in contact with both the second patient and his wife in an effort to reduce the risk of additional transmission. A CDC team also remains in Illinois to support those efforts, according to the state.

In the United States so far, with this latest case, there are a total of six confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the CDC. One case is in Arizona, one in Washington state, two in California and two in Illinois. The CDC said Wednesday that 165 people in the United States have been under investigation for the virus. Sixty-eight had tested negative and 92 results were pending.

In mainland China, at least 170 people have died and more than 8,100 cases have been confirmed as the virus continues to spread.

'If you are a traveler who has recently returned from the impacted area, we want you to be vigilant with the symptoms and signs of this coronavirus,' Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during the teleconference.

'Wash your hands, cover your cough,' Messonnier said. 'For the rest of the American public right now, we understand that folks are concerned.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32581

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7113137
Marion465894
Washington449760
Umatilla296241
Clackamas239861
Malheur161723
Lane118517
Jackson11395
Deschutes82512
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5298
Polk52915
Linn51913
Morrow4986
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2893
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2274
Clatsop2040
Josephine1982
Columbia1651
Coos1560
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa301
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 807451

Reported Deaths: 15583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2669886504
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54386925
Orange530691214
San Diego46331775
Kern31865367
Fresno28199382
Sacramento22183406
Alameda21136406
Santa Clara21030311
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16469205
Stanislaus16452351
Tulare15970263
Ventura12664150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11076101
San Mateo9843150
Monterey980771
Santa Barbara9037113
Merced8872142
Kings763177
Sonoma7369122
Marin6694117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer356745
San Luis Obispo354429
Butte281944
Yolo279555
Santa Cruz23309
Sutter170511
Napa166913
San Benito134011
Yuba11537
El Dorado11094
Mendocino90818
Shasta80617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5465
Lake53911
Nevada5337
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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